Taguba: Administration Committed War Crimes

Retired Army Maj. General Antonio Taguba, author of a report on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, has accused the Bush administration of war crimes.

Writing the forward to a Physicians for Human Rights study of 11 former detainees who were apparently tortured by US military personnel and later released, Army Maj. General Antonio Taguba (Ret.) writes that "there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Unfortunately, that question will likely be answered in the negative if it isn't ignored entirely.

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    Massachusetts School of Law at Andover (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:44:22 PM EST
    I'd like to think this is more than a pipe dream

    The dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is planning a September conference to map out war crimes prosecutions, and the targets are President Bush and other administration officials.

    The dean, Lawrence Velvel, says in a statement that "plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."

    Thanks for posting this. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:21:43 PM EST
    I am in Mass and will look into it.

    Really....unless you have an I.Q. of 65, you (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    have to know bushco is firmly entrenched in war crimes...would have been nice if many of these people had spoken up sooner!

    Oh, come on TChris... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by ctrenta on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:08:36 PM EST
    ... Don't you know, there's an election this year! Why waste your time on such depressing things when we can elect a Democratic president!!!!

    Don't stand up for accountability! Don't show any courage! That might jeopardize our chances of winning in November. Don't you see? WE'RE DEMOCRATS! We're not supposed to stand for anything!

    It Won't Happen (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:25:59 PM EST
    Americans are too concerned about their shrinking pocketbooks and losing their homes to worry about how our government has grievously abused foreigners. I have a feeling though that the next administration, no matter which party comes into power, will have a heck of a time garnering any support because our reputation will be trashed. Thanks again Bush!

    This report was submitted Mar 9, 2004 (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by wurman on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:51:31 PM EST
    Major General Taguba's report, in part & summary, was leaked to the media a couple of months later.

    U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse (link):
    Executive summary of Article 15-6 investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba
    NBC News
    updated 5:59 p.m. PT, Tues., May. 4, 2004
    The following is the text of the executive summary of the Taguba report with only the names of some witnesses removed for the sake of privacy.
    On 29 February we finalized our executive summary and out-briefing slides.  On 9 March we submitted the AR 15-6 written report with findings and recommendations to the CFLCC Deputy SJA, LTC Mark Johnson, for a legal sufficiency review.  The out-brief to the appointing authority, LTG McKiernan, took place on 3 March 2004.
    [my bold]

    These crimes were well known to all of the media & available to the USA public about 2 months after the report went to Army staff officers.  Sen. Kerry could have used this for 6 months prior to the election in his campaign. He didn't.  All of the media could have pursued this story right into the Oval Office.  They did not.  The senate did not act.  The house did nothing.  The American people yawned.  The senseless photos received some press & air time.  Sensational.  The end.

    So NOW!!! it's important???

    The American presence in Iraq is basically (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Newt on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:33:33 PM EST
    an ongoing occupation to prop up oil prices. In years past, when OPEC reduced oil production to artificially increase prices, Saddam Hussein increased Iraq's production and undermined their efforts. Oil was only $10 a barrel in 1999, now it's fifteen times that. The US military bombed Iraq's oil facilities, then partially rebuilt them. Partially rebuilt is the key here.  The occupation stabilizes  Iraq oil production at low levels, which allows OPEC to manipulate oil prices. Worse, the Iraqi government has no incentive to increase oil production. Iraqis would be expected to fund their own rebuilding if they were raking in huge profits. Americans have been duped into paying for an extended occupation that makes the Bush family and their Saudi friends ten times richer than they would be without the occupation. It'll stay so until we demand a reasonable end to Iraq's perpetual dependence on the US military and "rebuilding" support.

    Today, the NY Times confirms that American oil companies are getting no-bid contracts to jump-start the Iraqi oil industry.  

    Taguba needed to clear his soul (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:44:20 PM EST
    I'm very grateful.  This is the start of how accountability will come about.  Is it going to come about in such a fashion that the Bush Administration will be held personally accountable though?  No, because this is a shame that stamps this nation and now every single one of our legislators and leaders who has not stood up and said this same thing out loud as they have all had the evidence on hand to make this same damn call.  Nothing is on the table for Nancy Pelosi, now they are all complicit.  If any of us were this complicit in such a crime in our personal lives we would be on trial right now for aiding and abetting.  Nobody wants to own this or own up to their own personal inaction and their true lack of being an American patriot and standing up to tyranny.  They all flunked.......even Obama has.

    Hopefully, no one is expecting Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:28:06 PM EST
    to hold the Bush administration accountable since he's the only Dem to declare Bush and Cheney have not committed impeachable offenses.

    Britney's sister had her baby?? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:51:36 PM EST
    How did I miss that?  LOL  I did.  

    While I am not convinced that Americans do not care, I am convinced that it is easy somehow to tune it out.  Foreclosures, gas prices, food prices, primaries etc.  Also, the media just has not done enough with this.  they need to do a loop like with Rev. Wright.

    And impeachment is off the table (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:41:27 PM EST

    At 24% now and lower (none / 0) (#5)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:45:53 PM EST
    for Cheneykins, I wonder if republicans would even care about criminal prosecution of those two and other administration officials involved, including David Addington, once they were out of office.

    thanks Tchris (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:24:09 PM EST
    I have been waiting for this post for 2 days.  Can't wait for the follow ups....

    Do you know why most people won't care? (none / 0) (#11)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:35:03 PM EST
    It's real simple, though not excusable. My bet is that the majority of people will say it shouldn't have happened, but things happen during war and this was part of it. After all, they will say, we're talking about 11 people which is less that 1/3 of 1 per cent of the amount of people who died on 9/11.

    BTW, I am in no way excusing this explanation. I'm only explaining why most people will not care too much. Sort of like the robber who gets shot in the back fleeing the house he/she just robbed. It's not right, but I understand.

    Poor analogy (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by cymro on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:16:03 PM EST
    Sort of like the robber who gets shot in the back fleeing the house he/she just robbed. It's not right, but I understand.

    How about the innocent bystander who is arrested for being in the vicinity of the robbery while the wrong color, and dies mysteriously in a jail cell while being questioned?

    That would be a better analogy. Do you still think that a majority of people don't care? I think they would care if the media would only make a stink about it.


    Major General Taguba is author of the Preface only (none / 0) (#14)
    by bgreenberg on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:54:48 PM EST
    PHR is greatly honored by Maj. General Taguba's Preface to our new report. He was not involved in the conception, investigation or writing of it, however. The lead author is Farnoosh Hashemian, who is joined by others as well.

    Ben Greenberg
    Manager of Online Communications
    Physicians for Human Rights

    Different report (none / 0) (#17)
    by TChris on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:21:23 PM EST
    The report authored by Taguba and referenced (and linked) in the post is the 2004 report on Abu Ghraib.  I did not mean to imply that Taguba wrote the PHR report.

    My misreading (none / 0) (#26)
    by bgreenberg on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:22:56 AM EST
    Oh yes, that is clear now, on a second look. My apologies for the misreading.

    I worry about the safety of people like Taguba-- (none / 0) (#15)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:56:57 PM EST
    Altho, the MCM has probably prepared a greased slide down the Memory Hole for this report.

    A generation from now, college students will learn about it from some lefty professor and be shocked that their nation did such things and no one at the time called out our leaders on it.

    I'm feeling very pessimistic....

    has the MSM even mentioned it? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:29:47 PM EST
    Too much realness for them (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:20:14 AM EST
    This is real life, they prefer reality TV.

    Don't worry about him (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:01:50 PM EST
    He has a lot of people who have his back if he became crystal clear on this, and so he did.  Besides, we all die so it is only really about how we live.  What American soldier of integrity wants to live with this administration's stains on their soul?  Now he can live free instead of die inside.

    dying inside (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:40:09 PM EST
    like the house and senate? One has to wonder how Nancy Pelosi can sleep at night.

    Read Sy Hersh on this just last year (none / 0) (#21)
    by wurman on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:46:47 PM EST
    The New Yorker, June 25, 2007 (link):
    The previous week, revelations about Abu Ghraib, including photographs showing prisoners stripped, abused, and sexually humiliated, had appeared on CBS and in The New Yorker. In response, Administration officials had insisted that only a few low-ranking soldiers were involved and that America did not torture prisoners. They emphasized that the Army itself had uncovered the scandal.

    Per BNET (link):

    On 29 October 2003, Major General Donald J. Ryder was sworn in as the Army's Provost Marshal General by Lieutenant General James J. Lovelace, Director of the Army Staff, who hosted the Pentagon ceremony on behalf of the Army Chief of Staff.

    MG Ryder became the first Provost Marshal the Army's military police since 1974.  His report, which MG Taguba references & incorporates was also utterly ignored by Rumsfeld, Cheney & Bu$h.

    The war crimes & other violations of the Geneva Accords had been identified much earlier during "13 October to 6 November 2003, MG Ryder personally led this assessment/assistance team in Iraq."

    In actuality there have been 3 investigations into the crimes at Abu Ghraib and all of them were ignored.  And both Ryder & Taguba document the actual criminal acts, the persons who gave the orders & the sources of the techniques used.

    Major General Taguba is an American hero (none / 0) (#23)
    by akaEloise on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:11:57 PM EST
    I would love to see him taking a major role at the DOD in an Obama administration.  I hope the fact that he was one of many retired military leaders to endorse Hillary wouldn't rule that out!